Friday, November 22, 2013

High Sierra Camping

I didn't have the time to take my bus on this mini-campout. I had to leave late, and I had to make good time.

My ridiculously awesome friends sensed that I needed to get out of town, so they insisted and I went on my other german vehicle. (BMW motorcycle, two cylinders, horizontally opposed, don't hate me.)

Typically, when I go to this part of California, I drive along hwy 120, and turn right on 49, heading to Yosemite. This time, it was 120 to 108 all the way up into MonoVista, Twain Harte, and the Stanislaus National Forest. I'm heading for Buckeye Hot Springs

The Pass at Sonora is at 9,623', and at one point, reaches a 23% grade. It's a twist of the wrist and a lean left, then forward to balance the weight, then right, and a downshift, then... you get the picture.

Here's the map if you want to get an idea of just how twisted this road is.

I connect to 395 at 9:00pm, and make it to Bridgeport  by 9:30. The instructions say to turn toward twin lakes, and look for signs to the hot springs - difficult at night. I miss the turn off, and make it all the way back to Twin Lakes Resort. The bartender there is closing up (at 10???) and tells me where I'm going.

It's another dirt road, and a couple of cliffs, and I'm riding on them at night. Magically, I find the campsite, and my VW friends are there, with food.

I awake to this the next morning.

The hot springs are about a mile walk, none of us are interested.  We opt for Travertine hot springs just outside of Bridgeport instead. So I ride out first, and in hindsight, have no idea how I found this place last night.

I refill in Bridgeport after a brisk paced ride through some beautiful turns on a perfect sunny morning, Bridgeport has the dubious distinction of the most expensive gas in California. I think it was 5.35/gallon. I didn't take a picture of it, my camera would have shattered it's lens in protest.

Travertine Hot springs are located here. I've got a moment to unwind and let my sore shoulders and wrist decompress.

 The water is at about 110f and cools to around 100 be the time it hits the pool.

We warm up, relax, and then head to Mammoth, our second night for camping.

We are just outside of monolake and it's time for a panoramic photo.

We arrive in Mammoth lakes,  and the campsite is full of other vehicles. We find our site and I set up the tent. It's not as comfy as my bus, but I sleep fine in it.

Mike and I decide to explore some of the other vehicles. Hwy 395 is famous for offroad adventures, We were sure to find some machines that had too much money poured into them - not that there is anything wrong with that.

This beast was towing a re-purposed army trailer complete with fold outs for easy access.

I'm a sucker for a sportsmobile. The owner told me that the two screaming children inside were for sale. I think they had a rough day.

We didn't do much other than warm ourselves by a fire, we had a day of Kayaking ahead.

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